Jennie Cook's Zucchini Butter

By • July 23, 2013 • 38 Comments


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Author Notes: Whenever you come home a bundle of squash, this is the best, purest way you can distill it. (And then in about a month, when we're overrun, it will still be a happy way to dispense with lots of them at once.) It turns out zucchini wants to be butter. Grated fine, it cooks down quickly, pooling into a soft, freckly green pile. Spread it on toast in place of actual butter. Cake a thick layer in a sandwich with salted tomatoes or soft cheese. Sauce a grilled pizza. Consider it a side dish. Or just eat a big heap of it, right out of the pan, like we did. Recipe from Jennie Cook via The Kitchn.Genius Recipes

Makes about 2 cups

  • 2 pounds zucchini or assorted summer squash (feel free to use less or add extra -- cooking times will vary)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or butter
  • 2 minced shallots, garlic, or combination of both
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Coarsely grate the zucchini. Let it drain in a colander for 3 to 4 minutes or until you are ready to begin cooking. To hasten cooking time, squeeze the water out of the zucchini by wringing it in a clean cloth towel.
  2. In a deep skillet, heat the olive oil/butter. Sauté the shallots or garlic briefly. Add the zucchini and toss. Cook and stir over medium to medium-high heat until the zucchini reaches a spreadable consistency, about 15 minutes. If you scorch the bottom, turn the flame down! (And scrape those delicious bits into the butter for added flavor -- you can splash in a little water to help deglaze the pan.) The zucchini will hold its bright green color and slowly caramelize into a nice vegetable jam.
  3. Enjoy on toast, or as a side dish all summer long!

Comments (38) Questions (0)

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about 1 month ago dbrowning

Put big scoop of leftover zucchini butter on plate. Heat up. Top with runny poached egg for an awesome breakfast

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about 1 month ago marija

this is very nice and so easy to make. I recently made it as one of the re diner hors d'oeurves and although they were mostly "fussy" eaters it didn't disappoint. on its own on a piece of sourdough or with mozzarella and sundered tomatoes, num!

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7 months ago Turbeville Green

What's the best way and how long can I store it?

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about 1 month ago tamater sammich

I made lots of this recipe last summer, when we had zucchini coming out our ears. We had the last of it from the freezer several weeks ago. What I did was let it cool off, then tamp it down in glass Rubbermaid containers, and just before freezing, pouring a thin layer of olive oil on top, as a barrier to air, to eliminate freezer burn.

Avocados

8 months ago betty888

This is so simple and truly delicious. I put the butter on top of a simple baked chicken breast (cooked with a little garlic, lemon, olive oil), and it was fantastic. I'll be eating the rest this morning on wheat toast. I agree with other posters that this would be great on pasta, or even as an omelet filling. This could easily become addictive.

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7 months ago Turbeville Green

As a spread on baked chicken is my plan, I'm excited to try this.

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8 months ago SusanR

This is fantastic! I have been making it all summer for my husband who loves zucchini. Tonight I am serving it as an appetizer to friends and family who are joining us for dinner. It is certainly one of the most genius recipes I have ever found. I do not add nearly as much oil as called for. My husband loves it and eats it pretty much by the bowl full!

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7 months ago Turbeville Green

I'm dying to try this and planned to cut back on oil. About how much oil did you use?

Stringio

8 months ago Grace Mack

Made it for a party. Nobody liked it. Very disappointed.

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8 months ago sweet fang

I made a second batch with not only the two salts; The espresso salt and the Alderwood salt but I added Tarragon to it and it is sweet and just a dash smoky.
Pretty fantastic.

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8 months ago EJMdesign

Made this tonight with a fabulous fresh zucchini from the local farmer's market, and it was delicious. Can't wait to make some great crusty toast tomorrow morning to have with it!

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8 months ago sweet fang

I love this ! I added two different salts to it to punch it out a little. An espresso salt and an Alderwood smoked salt. It was crazy good.
Salts came from the filling station in NYC @ Chelsea Market. :)

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8 months ago seasonista

In the cookbook "In Season", Sarah Raven does a version of zucchini jam that is similar to this, with ginger & lemon, plus gelatin. She says it's an "edwardian recipe".

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8 months ago Judy E

Absolutely wonderful taste! This is a definite family favorite now. Easy and very flavorful.

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9 months ago Janeths

Very tasty!

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9 months ago Antonia AT

Totally delicious: This is a riff on a Julia Child recipe that's been a summer favorite forever.

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9 months ago Diana Pappas

Just picked a huge zucchini that was hiding in my garden and immediately made this. What a fabulous use of zucchini that has grown beyond the ideal size!

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9 months ago Jacqueline

Yes, please. And thank you!

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9 months ago learnoff

This recipe is unbelievably easy and amazingly delicious! Someone asked if it would freeze well - in my house it would never make it to the freezer! Will be making many batches of this!

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9 months ago Paula d.

I made this yesterday. Awesome! Added some thyme and, instead of water, used dry white wine to deglaze the pan. Plan on making MUCH more. 1 recipe just won't last very long!!!

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9 months ago JulieBee

I made this tonight and served it with a grilled garlic bread....in a word, delectable. Everyone raved and wondered what was in it, how was it made...zucchini? No kidding.
Be sure to season with kosher salt and a little fresh ground pepper. A+

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9 months ago JulieBee

Oh and forgot to say, I had no shallots, so just used organic yellow onions, chopped teeny tiny and it worked beautifully.

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9 months ago audrey

Going to make this RIGHT NOW.

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9 months ago audrey

Fantastic! I tossed it with some pasta, delicious. I can see adding different flavors to go different ways: capers and basil and white wine, or tarragon, or sun-dried tomatoes. I put some in the freezer to see how it holds up.

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9 months ago bb

what a super little recipe ! !

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9 months ago HelenD

I read this recipe and had to taste it. Went shopping for squash and shallots, and cannot believe how easy and how good this is! Delicious on a toasted everything bagel! Thanks for the recipe and for the most helpful comments!

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9 months ago Ceege

I live in a condo so am unable to plant a garden (much to my dismay). However, we do have several local farms that sell all summer long. I am heading out tomorrow and see if zuc's are ripe at this time of year. I can't wait to try this recipe. Pizzz, spaghetti, sandwiches, etc. Want to try them all.

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9 months ago tamater sammich

I've been doing this for years, and in much larger quantities. Soon as it's done, I spread it out on cookie sheets. An option for that step is, packing it on the sheets, and then running the rolling pin over the sheets. Another option is for cooling; place pans in front of a fan till cool, before putting them in the freezer. When solid enough, I cut into slabs the size of the freezer bags. The slabs are then very easy to break up and toss onto pizzas.

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9 months ago Jsne

I was wondering if one is able to can this up to store it throughout the year. This sounds absolutely fabulous! And I, too, have planted way too many squash plants yet again.

Ehanhan4

9 months ago nomnivorous

I have not made this recipe but I don't think it would be safe for water bath canning. It has far too much oil to be safe. I'm not sure about pressure canning though.

Stringio

9 months ago Kimberly Calaba

I would say no. At least I don't feel the flavor would stay with it after canning.

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9 months ago Gigswatch

This is beautifully described and perfectly proportioned. Thank you!

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9 months ago csdales

I would love to see nutritional information with all the recipes.

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9 months ago Sallie J. Eimstad

It freezes just fine and, for another long-keeper, make zucchini milk. Liquify your zucchini excesses and freeze in ice cube trays. Bag the cubes and replace your choice of quantity of liquids in nearly ANY recipe with the zucchini milk. It works in cakes, pies, soups, pancakes and waffles, meatloaf, meatballs, and so forth. I've substituted for up to half the called-for liquid in many recipes and for all of it in others, depending. Experiment. And, you sneak a bit more nutrition into children's diets when they may not want to eat "squishy" squash.

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9 months ago Martha

For year we have been doing something very much like this and use it as a topping for pizza! Yum -- the best pizza ever with some fresh tomatoes or tomato sauce and cheese. Then grill the pizza for an especially wonderful crust.

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9 months ago misschef

Does it freeze well?
She asks hopefully, having planted way too many squash plants this year.

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9 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Senior Editor of Food52

I haven't tried, but I definitely think it would!

Ehanhan4

9 months ago nomnivorous

I'm sure it never stays around long enough to test, but do you have a refrigerator life for this recipe? (Like, up to 3 days? 1 week? Longer?)